For other students, however, there is a different kind of transition. I'm talking here about students with 504 plans or who have IEPs (and are high-functioning). These children often have highly-involved parents (and not necessarily in a bad or overindulgent way)...but once they leave the cocoon of the public school system, they don't always have access to the accommodations that they have been previously given.
There was a recent article in the WaPo about students in this situation who are trying to transition from high school to college.
Even if colleges and parents continue to provide support, I still wonder if there is some sort of point where these accommodations end. While I am sure that the ADA could have an impact on employment---are there employers out there who will oblige Attention Deficit Disorder? Or will there be an assumption that a 30-year old has acquired the self-management skills to work in their chosen career? Is society at large as tolerant as we must be within the confines of the public school system? If not, what do we do to ensure that when advocacy from outside ends, students are ready to move forward on their own?
A generation of students accustomed to receiving help for special learning needs is entering college. The percentage of students identified with learning disabilities who graduate from high school and go on to four-year colleges jumped from one in 100 in 1987 to about one in nine last year. And those who go on to any kind of post-secondary education went from a third to almost three-quarters by 2003. But some are finding that the transition isn't easy.Many students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia or memory troubles have had years of education shaped by intense parental support, involved teachers and legally mandated school safety nets.
But what colleges must do is far less defined legally, and professors and administrators at some schools seem to remain skeptical about the needs that students might have. Schools must provide assistance to students, but only if the students disclose their disabilities.Most students don't. Some are tired of being labeled. Some are unable to afford the extensive and recent cognitive testing that most colleges require as proof of disability. Some just don't get around to it until they start failing classes, at which point it's often too late to salvage the semester.